Q: Is there any advantage to setting my thermostat fan to “On” so the fan runs constantly?
A: Yes, especially with the new variable speed motors. When you keep your fan on, you help keep your house clean. Running the fan helps to filter the air, which really helps during allergy season when it’s important to keep pollen out. With multi-level homes, hot air rises and if you keep the fan running, it circulates the air and keeps your home comfortable.
However, running your fan can be problematic for older systems because they are not very efficient. The fan “on” speed is same as the cooling speed, so it runs at a max the entire time. On newer systems, you can alternate the fan speed.
Q: How long does a typical furnace last?
A: Furnace life expectancy varies depending on where you live. For homeowners around the Ogden, Utah area, your furnace can last between 15 and 20 years. Builder grade furnaces will be on the lower end, and your more energy-efficient furnaces will last closer to 20 years. Typically, you can get a longer life out of better pieces of equipment.
Q: What type of furnace do you recommend?
A: At Mountain Air, we recommend a 95 – 98 percent efficient furnace with the variable fan. When your furnace is more efficient, you are eligible for HVAC rebates and often times the local power company will help pay for the installation.
Q: What things can I do at home to help maintain my furnace? And how often?
A: The most important thing you can do to help maintain your furnace between inspections is to make sure you keep your filter clean. The frequency of your filter change depends on your home. For example, if you have pets, you should change your filter once a month. If the furnace cannot breathe, everything else runs harder and longer, which lowers your furnace’s life expectancy.
Q: Is there anything I can do to improve the efficiency of my current furnace?
A: A tune-up will help improve your furnace’s efficiency. The technician will clean the blower and that will help with the efficiency.
Q: How often should I have my air ducts cleaned and inspected for repairs?
A: Ductwork done right should never have to be repaired. If you have a sudden fluctuation in energy bills, it could be a sign that your ductwork needs to be repaired. If your ductwork is in the attic or crawl space, you are dumping conditioned air into an unconditioned space and wasting money. Since the ductwork lives in an unfinished space, it is easy to inspect. However, for many homeowners in the Ogden, Utah area, the ductwork lives in finished basements or behind walls. When this is the case, it is much harder to inspect ductwork and unless there is a major concern, a little air leaking out won’t increase your bill much.
Q: Prior to calling for service, what should I check or know about my furnace?
A: Before you call Mountain Air for services on your furnace, it would help to know the make and model of the system. If you are calling for furnace repairs, double check to make sure your system is turned on and that it is set to the heating mode. You would be surprised to learn that many homeowners just forget to change their thermostat settings between seasons and there isn’t an actual problem. Other simple troubleshooting tips include making sure your system has power and making sure the battery in the thermostat is in good working condition.
Q: Should I try to keep my furnace from running too much?
A: It is beneficial to turn your thermostat down when you leave for longer periods of time. If you are just leaving for a short period of time and will want to heat your home when you get back, your furnace will have to work twice as hard to get the temperature back up to the desired temperature. Lowering it by just a few degrees is better than a drastic drop in temperature.
Q: What are the potential dangers of operating your HVAC system with a cracked heat exchanger?
A: A crack in a chamber causes the heat exchanger to create carbon monoxide. Any crack in a heat exchanger is potentially deadly.
Q: Can you see or smell CO?
A: No you cannot. Carbon monoxide is odorless and does not have any sort of taste to it.
Q: How do I know if I have a carbon monoxide problem?
A: You don’t. Since you cannot see, smell, or taste carbon monoxide, typically you only notice the problem when you start to have headaches or other severe, life-threatening problems. At Mountain Air, we suggest that all homes have carbon monoxide detectors installed.
Q: How often do I need a furnace tune-up?
Q: Do high-efficiency furnaces really save money?
A: Absolutely. High-efficiency furnaces are rated by the government by how much gas comes in vs. how much heat is delivered into the home. Furnaces that are higher in efficiency are safer and much cleaner to operate.
Q: What is a high-efficiency blower motor?
A: A high-efficiency blower motor (ECM) is a variable speed motor. New ECM motors run between 60 watts and 100 watts, saving the average homeowner about $250 a year!
Q: What HVAC rebates are available?
A: You can receive HVAC rebates from the gas company on furnaces that are at least 95 percent efficient. You can check with your utility provider to see what incentives are available for your home.
Q: Where do HVAC rebates come from?
A: Three different places. The local gas company, the power company for AC and furnace replacement and from the manufacturer. There is also potential to receive federal tax credits.